If you're over the age of 18, there are yet to be many savings account rates above 5.00% p.a. according to InfoChoice's database.
One major exception is Bank of Queensland however, which will offer 5.15% p.a. from 3 March.
This is a 25 basis point increase, and adds to the 15 basis point increase it made in February, which is notable given this outweighs the RBA's 25 basis point increase for the month.
This is limited for 14-35 year olds with a few conditions to get there, as detailed below.
"Whether you're saving for a rainy day, a new home or bills - now is the perfect time to be shopping around to make sure your savings are earning the most competitive interest rate," said Sophie Tilden, BOQ general manager of everyday banking and deposits.
If you're aged around 17-18 or younger, a couple banks have rates above 5.00% p.a.
Australian Mutual Bank leads the pack, and has managed to increase by 50 basis points recently to offer a rate of 5.25% p.a.
The maximum deposit on this is $5,000, and the rate drops to 2.25% p.a. for balances from $5,001 to $10,000.
Portions above this earn just 1 basis point or 0.01% p.a.
There are no deposit conditions to get there and is for those aged 0 to 18.
If the child is between the age of 0 and 12 the account must be opened in a parent's name.
Great Southern Bank also has a 'Youth eSaver' account paying 5.00% p.a. on balances up to $5,000.
It's for 0 to 17 year olds and there are no deposit conditions to get there.
Balances over $5,000 attract 1.00% p.a. and children under 10 must have their parent open and operate the account.
So, just to recap for youth-oriented savings accounts:
|Bank||% Rate Per Annum||Notes & Bonus Conditions|
|Australian Mutual Bank||5.25||0-18, max balance $5k|
|BOQ||5.15||14-35, deposit $1k/month, 5 card transactions, max balance $50k|
|Great Southern Bank||5.00||0-17, max balance $5k|
|Great Southern Bank||4.75||18-24, deposit $500/month, 5 card transactions, max balance $50k|
I'm a parent - can I use these savings accounts?
If you are a signatory for a minor, there's nothing stopping you from using the account, however where you may run into hiccups is at tax time.
It comes down to how money is deposited and used. If money deposited is regularly from your transaction account and/or you use the funds to pay for 'adult' things like bills, and looking after your child, then it's likely the ATO will see that as your account.
Interest on savings accounts is treated as taxable income.
If you are a signatory, but the account is used to deposit incidental Christmas and birthday money, and the money is spent by your child at say, toy shops, then the ATO will likely treat it as the child's.
If the child earns less than $120 or less in interest in the financial year, no tax will be withheld and they won't have to file a tax return.
If the child is aged under 16 and earns more than $420 in interest, they will, and will have to provide a Tax File Number to avoid being taxed on that amount.
If they earn this amount and fail to provide a TFN, they will be taxed at a rate of 47% and will need to lodge a tax return if they want a refund.
For reference, 5.25% p.a. with a deposit of $5,000 yields $262.50 in interest per year.
For more information, visit the ATO website.